American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – N.P.R. Hobe Sound NWR is seeking 1 National Wildlife Refuge Assistant to work directly with the management and biology staff and assist with wildlife refuge projects and operations in Hobe Sound, FL. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic individuals with a background in natural resources who possess an interest in gaining experience in the field of biology, visitor services, maintenance and management.

Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest contiguous section of undeveloped beach in Southeastern Florida and is considered one of the most productive sea turtle nesting areas in the Southeastern United States. The Refuge is a sanctuary for nearly 40 species listed as either threatened, endangered, or of special concern. It is an oasis for people who wish to experience what the early days of Florida must have been like. This biodiversity is supported by a large remnant of sand pine scrub, nearly 10 miles of mangrove communities along the Indian River Lagoon, and 3.5 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach.

For more information about NPR Hobe Sound NRW, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/hobe_sound/

For more information regarding the ACE EPIC Program, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Age Requirements: Funding for many ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults and therefore is subject to minimum and maximum age requirements of 18-30 (35 for veterans).

This position requires ACE or FWS vehicle operation in the performance of the duties and therefore the minimum age to be considered is 21.

Work Schedule: Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule will be required, as work will take place on weekends and some federal holidays. Unpaid time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Living Allowance: The ACE member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $250/week for food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly.

Housing: The ACE member will be accommodated in refuge housing at no cost for the duration of the internship. All utilities are included. Housing is a duplex unit with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a maximum capacity of 3 people. The member may have to share a bedroom and bathroom with one other individual. Housing is within walking distance to the main office.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 1,700-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($6,345) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.

PLC Competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt and before the age of 31. More information can be provided upon request.

Position Description: The National Wildlife Refuge Assistant position at the Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) will provide a well-rounded experience in the natural resource field. The member will work as part of a small team to help manage the Refuge completing such tasks as biological surveys, routine maintenance, public programs, and administrative tasks.

Duties Include:

  • Environmental outreach and education (30%)
    • Organize and conduct monthly public beach cleanups
  • Invasive plant control (25%)
  • Other wildlife surveys (25%)
  • Refuge maintenance (trails, signs, buildings, etc.) (15%)
  • Administration, and other duties (5%)
    • Manage Refuge social media accounts under the supervision of the Refuge Manager
    • Assist with captive animal care

Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: South Florida has average temperatures in the 80’s-90’s during the summer months, with rainfall almost daily. This position will require extended time outdoors, in hot, humid, and buggy conditions. Field work is often done in remote areas, including wetlands. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.



  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • High School Diploma
  • A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request). Likewise, a refuge vehicle will be provided for refuge activities only but a personal vehicle is strongly recommended for getting around the local area.
  • Ability to work alone and in a group
  • Proficient in English
  • Effective communication skills
  • Able and willing to perform duties outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor
  • Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved
  • Ability to operate independently, and sometimes alone, in remote areas
  • Ability to pass a federal criminal background check is required
  • Knowledge of natural sciences
  • Ability to work in very hot, humid, and buggy conditions with frequent storms and lightning
  • Willingness to work varying hours including weekends
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by the time they start their term or request a medical or religious exemption.


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing an associate’s degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology, environmental education, interpretation, or a related subject.
  • Knowledge of the USFWS mission
  • Experience applying herbicide to invasive plants
  • Experience conducting wildlife surveys
  • Knowledge of south Florida wildlife and plant species (native and non-native)
  • Experience accurately managing associated data
  • Basic GPS and GIS skills
  • Experience operating trucks and boats
  • Experience towing boats
  • Experience working with the public
  • Bilingual (English, Spanish)

ACE Emerging Professionals must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, any unofficial academic transcripts, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. ***Academic transcripts are reviewed for verification of related coursework and professional development purposes, as opposed to evaluating prior academic performance.

Start Date: mid-January 2022

End Date: 52 weeks later

**1-year commitment required**

Location: Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, Hobe Sound, Florida

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Danielle Ramsden at dramsden@usaconservation.org or 208-869-3555.

Vaccination Requirement: ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by the time they start their term or request a medical or religious exemption.

EOE: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.